So… a Resume and a CV. Sounds like it should be the same document, right? Are they really? Some countries ask for CVs, while others as for resumes. Which is the correct term? Before we decide on that, let’s first explain in detail what each term means.
In North America, a resume is a written summary of all educational and professional (and sometimes personal) qualifications of a job applicant. A resume highlights the applicant’s experience in relation to the job in question. A resume usually
is 2 pages maximum
highlights either the last 3 relevant positions held, or positions held within the last 5 years
leans more on experience, e.g. how did you practice the theory you learned in school? In what situations did you make use of your knowledge
A CV (Curriculum Vitae) is the extensive-detailed document (not a summary) of an applicant’s education and profession. CV usually
can be more than 2 pages
leans more on criteria - skills acquired (including when and where they were acquired)
highlights education specifics, research experience, all certifications acquired, and professional affiliations one belongs to, licenses, awards, and so on
In a snapshot…
While resumes are most commonly used in North America, CVs are mostly required in most places in Europe, Africa, Middle east and Asia. Although these international CVs are simply referred to as CVs but are the equivalent of resumes, they do require more information than North American CV, such as Date of Birth, marital status, gender, and so on.
So, is there a correct term for this document? As previously mentioned, in North America, most applications will ask for a resume. Depending on the job, you’ll only be asked for a CV if you’re seeking a job or career path that demands full details of your education and experience. Such professions include teaching, nursing/doctorate, clinical/scientific research, etc.
Now that you know the difference between both, I hope you know how best to format your document that best suits the job requirements you’re applying for.
Next topic on the Quick Tip series - 10 Things to Avoid When Writing Your Resume